Five tips for staying hydratedEveryone’s been told to “drink eight glasses of water a day.” While the actual amount of water each person needs varies, experts agree people need to stay hydrated, especially in the warm summer months.
By: Anna G. Larson, Forum News Service
FARGO – Everyone’s been told to “drink eight glasses of water a day.”
While the actual amount of water each person needs varies, experts agree people need to stay hydrated, especially in the warm summer months.
Lisa Kadrmas, a clinical dietitian at Sanford Health, shares five tips for staying hydrated.
• Keep water handy.
“When we get busy with work or play, we may simply forget to drink water, or pay poor attention to our level of thirst,” Kadrmas says. “Or, we may notice that we’re thirsty but put off drinking because it’s not a convenient time to go find a beverage.”
She recommends having a water bottle at your work desk as a visual reminder to drink up.
• Choose meals and snacks that are higher in fluid.
Soup, fruit, juice and milk provide fluid that the body can use, Kadrmas says.
“This can help mix it up so you don’t get tired of drinking just water,” she says. “Taste preference can play a big role in whether or not we meet our fluid needs.”
• Monitor hydration.
Signs of dehydration include feeling lethargic or “fuzzy,” getting a headache, or feeling lightheaded when moving from sitting/lying to standing, Kadrmas says.
Monitoring the color and volume of urine can help determine hydration levels too, she says.
A pale lemonade color with good volume usually indicates good hydration, while darker colors (like apple juice or iced tea) and small volume means the urine is more concentrated, and the person needs to drink more water.
• Avoid or limit alcohol intake.
Alcoholic beverages cause the body to lose a larger volume of fluid than you take in with the drink, Kadrmas says.
Alternating alcoholic beverages with water and keeping the number of drinks to a reasonable level helps, she says.
Alcohol can complicate the strategy of using urine color/volume as an indicator of hydration, since it increases the volume of urine.
• Track weight during workouts and outdoor activities.
“It’s a good idea to drink during long workouts or work shifts in the heat, but it can be tough to completely keep up with sweat losses,” Kadrmas says.
If body weight decreases quickly, it’s an indication that a lot of fluid’s been lost, she says.
If a person’s weight goes down a pound between the start and end of a workout, the person has lost two cups more water in sweat than he or she took in with any beverages during the workout.
“Make it a point to replace those losses by drinking at least that much fluid or a bit more,” Kadrmas says.
Copyright 2013, Forum News Service.